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Seneca names Lamboley next chief

New police leader has served 25 years at department

Serving on the Seneca Police Department for 25 years, George Lamboley said he’s often thought about succeeding longtime Chief Ray Meglan, someday.

He said he was honored Tuesday when the Village Board made his thoughts a reality with a 3-1 vote. Lamboley took the oath for the position shortly after the board’s regular meeting.

“I’m going to hit the ground running (Wednesday),” said Lamboley, who was serving as a sergeant at the department. “I’m looking forward to working with the community and with (Public Health and Safety) Commissioner (Rich) Applebee to do the best I can.”

The board approved Lamboley’s hiring at a wage of $34.61 per hour, which amounts to roughly $72,000 per year. The term expires in May 2019. Applebee gave the dissenting vote. Rick Barla abstained.

“I preferred another candidate, but our top three were excellent,” Applebee said, explaining his vote. “George and I will do excellent things. We work together well.”

After Meglan announced his retirement, the Village Board received 30 applicants and whittled it down to three finalists for interviews. Commissioners agreed it was a tough decision.

Lamboley, a La Salle-Peru High School graduate, was third in command in the Seneca department prior to Tuesday’s promotion. He has been a Seneca officer since 1993. Prior to his time in Seneca, he worked with the Marseilles Police Department, his first police job, from 1987 to 1993.

He said he has good working relationships with Marseilles Police Chief Jim Hovious and Morris Police Chief John Severson.

Succeeding Meglan, who was chief for three decades, will be a challenge, he said. After having him as a boss for 25 years, Lamboley said he’s been conditioned to go to the former chief for advice or instructions.

“I’m going to be looking to get to that point where I’m saying, ‘What would he do here?’ instead of thinking, ‘What will he say?’ “

To honor Meglan, a reception will be conducted 3 to 6 p.m. Sunday, May 27, at the Seneca High School commons, 307 E. Scott St.

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